Several leading French media outlets have chosen to cease publicising the names and images of terrorists in an effort to avoid ‘posthumous glorification’ of the killers following a spate of deadly attacks in the country.
Daily newspapers Le Monde and La Croix have both signed up to the voluntary code whilst Europe1 radio will cease to broadcast names in an effort to curtail the spread of terrorist propaganda and BFM-TV will no longer broadcast images of terrorists.
This follows the murder of an elderly priest in Rouen by men claiming allegiance to Islamic State which prompted Le Monde to tighten its reporting standards. In an editorial the paper declared: “The sites and newspapers that produce this information cannot excuse themselves from self-examination on several fronts. Since Isis terrorism first appeared, Le Monde has changed its practices several times.”
The latest change will see it ‘no longer publish photographs of the perpetrators of killings, to avoid the potential effect of posthumous glorification’.
Such principled stances are not universal however with state run France Televisions arguing against a ‘race toward self-censorship’.